Here’s the thing. I read fanfiction. Like, often. It’s my stress relief, my drug of choice, my go-to procrastination method. My favorite fanfiction trope? Soulmates. Meant-to-be’s. “My name gets inscribed on your wrist when you turn 18 and vice versa” or “The first words I say to you are written on your body somewhere” or “I looked at you and knew that you were it for me for forever.” That’s it. Forever is my aesthetic.
It’s not applicable in real life, and I know that–I understand that the trope is a trope because it’s not a real life thing. I’ve never seen it work that way in real life. I had never met a married couple where both spouses had never been married before until I met my stepdad’s parents. And then, when I was eleven, his dad died. Forever is not a concept my life has ever shown me to be true.
So why am I so obsessed with it?
Today I went shopping with my sister, and out loud I told her, “Maybe I’m just not trying hard enough.”
“To find a boyfriend.”
“Oh jeez,” and she said it kind of jokingly, but I knew it wasn’t a joke.
“Maybe I’m not putting myself out there,” is what I said.
Maybe I just haven’t met Forever yet, is what I didn’t say aloud.
I don’t hook up. I commit. Hard. I am the epitome of Romantic All or Nothing. I get invested. I love with every fiber of my being. What does that mean?
Means I don’t love that way often. Means I’m aggressively unwillingly to let myself get attached to people who haven’t proven themselves to me. Means I’m alone a lot.
I drove back to school not long after we roamed Marshalls for a bit. I thought about my junior year of high school. It was my best year, not that the sophomore year of college hasn’t been a close second. There’s still time.
Why was it the best? Well, I went into the school year attached to this mistake of a Not Relationship. It was over by September. And what did I do for the rest of that year? Threw myself into my academics. Played two sports. Joined clubs. Got a 30 on the ACT. Stayed single, stayed uninterested in romance, and read fanfiction.
I want to go back to that me. It’s been so hard for me to, but I want to. I miss my drive for school. I miss my drive for…everything. The only thing that makes me happy these days is being around my stupid (not actually) Unrequited Love and driving.
When I went home for the weekend, Not Actually Unrequited Love picked me up around 11 and we drove the three hours to the beach. It didn’t make me feel as good as I thought it would. You know what did?
Transcribing my notes for Astronomy–which I have a D in.
So I’m trying to find her, to find the girl that’s okay with Forever being a fanfiction trope and reality being SchoolStress. I thrive under SchoolStress. I feel like I have a purpose under SchoolStress. For a long time it’s felt like the only defining thing about me is my intelligence–not that I was the most intelligent in any scenario, ever, but my love for learning and my ability to process knowledge was my accelerant. Now I’m just burning. And I’ve always been the type to work alone, so now I have to figure out how to put myself out.
So Fuck Forever. Give me a book, instead.
(This post was written in a fit of frustration with myself and should not be judged for its eloquence.)